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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Petition against on-shore windfarms

On February 14th, I posted a link to a petition to the Prime Minister. He has now responded, and I'll copy the petition and Tony Blair's reply below. I found the third paragraph very interesting.

Details of petition:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to withdraw all subsidies and support to on-shore wind farms in valued landscapes."

"We agree with the need to find methods to prevent climate change affecting our environment but this must be done with the full support of the public. No attempt can be successful if it destroys the very environment that we hope to save. We call for support for renewable energy projects that are NOT divisive in nature. We call for greater subsidies to small/personal micro-generation schemes such as solar heating. The major mechanism for reduction in CO2 and other greenhouse gasses must be responsible cooperation with the public, NOT imposition of unwanted areas of policy that threaten many households. On-shore wind farms may (when subsidised with public funds) provide large profits to multi-national corporations but their contribution to CO2 reduction is small when weighed against the savings that are possible IF the public feel that they are part of the solution and not having to fight against it!"

PM's reply
The onshore wind industry does not receive any direct grant subsidy or support above that available under the Renewables Obligation (RO). The RO is a mechanism that allows for renewable energy generators to receive a premium for every Megawatt of electricity generated. The UK has one of the best wind profiles in Europe, with the potential to supply a significant portion of our energy needs. Wind energy currently offers the best, and most cost-effective, potential in the short to medium term for the expansion of renewables. However, all proposed wind developments must take place within the formal planning procedure, which allows all relevant stakeholders to have their view and assess all relevant impacts on the environment, local community etc.

The Government remains committed to renewable energy, and has put in place a substantial framework to encourage its development. The Energy White Paper Our energy future - creating a low carbon economy sets out a clear strategy to reduce harmful emissions over the next 50 years with a major expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency at its heart. It sets out four goals for the Government's energy policy: to work towards cutting emissions of carbon dioxide by some 60 per cent by around 2050; to maintain the reliability of energy supplies; to promote competitive energy markets in the UK and beyond; and to ensure that every home is adequately and affordably heated. It is within this wider context that the development of renewables takes place.

In March 2006 Government published the microgeneration strategy which contains a number of measures to address some of the wider barriers preventing the development of a sustainable market in microgeneration. These include measures to tackle upfront costs, including to help microgenerators gain better access to the rewards for generating electricity e.g. easier access to Renewable Obligation Certificates and improved rewards for electricity exported to the grid. In last weeks Budget a 50% increase in funding for householders to install small scale renewables such as micro wind turbines and solar panels was announced. This will take the total available under the Low Carbon Building Programme to more than £18million. At the same time the scheme is to be re-shaped to make best use of the extra funding. Proposals will be brought forward in May.

The Government has also committed over £500m to help develop emerging renewables and low carbon technologies in the period 2002 - 2008. Beyond that, a new joint Defra/DTI Fund, the Environmental Development Fund, has been set up that will provide a boost to investment in renewable energies and other green technologies aimed at reducing carbon emissions. Final details of the scale and scope of the Fund will be announced in the Spending Review.

Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 20:55


i know you are going to hate me,but i am actually in favour of wind farms. we have one not far here and locals have got used to it. what other choice do we have? i am very against nuclear electricity as what if something goes wrong? what do we do with the waste? dump it underground to pollute the earth? or do we go back to the days before we had electricity?

carol from france

I don't think many people are totally against wind farms but the concern of any right-minded individual is that the search for energy should not destroy the environment. Government is taking the easy option, the one that will affect the least number of voters. Why are there no proposals for making wind energy creation obligatory on high rise city offices? Why are there no wind farms on the moors overlooking Sheffield? Why are there no wind farms on Hampstead Heath? Because all of these would affect a huge number of people and cause too much hassle for the government.

Les Ellingham from Stafford

Wouldn't let me have more words! I wanted to say also ... stick a wind farm in the Outer Hebrides (where?) and 99% of the voters won't even know it's there.

Les Ellingham from Stafford

Carol, I for one do NOT take postings or comments personally. I'm not opposed to wind-energy persé, but the scheme proposed for Lewis is too big, and the consequences for the unique island environment not thought through.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

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